Is it really almost October 8th? It’s hard to believe that I have been a Fuhrman for 1 year. (I mean, really more like 9-10 months officially because let’s be real, the process of legally changing your last name is about as enjoyable as riding middle front seat in a stick shift truck.) I joked with Matt that he is stuck with me, or at least I am stuck with his last name because I have spent enough hours chillin’ at the social security office for my lifetime.
Joking aside, this first year of marriage has been so sweet! It has been such a pleasure to live and conquer life with my best friend. Some of this year truly has felt like conquering at times. Facing the enemy front row in the battle field with my husband to my right. Other parts of this year have been the purest type of bliss. You know, the kind of joy that leaves you craving more and having to believe in something bigger than ourselves.
While it is only year one, I believe that there is always a time and a place for reflection. I never want to forgot to pause, and meditate on what I’ve learned and the wisdom I’ve gained. It is this posture of reflection that stirs humility in me and keeps me hungry for additional learning.
Without any more delay, here it is:
The TOP 5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Marriage Year 1
Communication as a Team is Essential
It is not ‘me vs. you’ or ‘your agenda vs. mine’. It is OUR agenda. We are a unit and what we say effects each other. I learned rather early into our marriage (or really our relationship) that using language that promotes our unit and fosters togetherness keeps us deeply rooted in a place of “love”. It is this place of love that helps us navigate with kindness through difficult conversations and emotions. It is not always easy, but I desire to know that my husband is always in my corner of “love” even when we disagree. I firmly believe that there is a loving and mutually respectful way to say anything that you need to say.
I can’t say that we have this space fully navigated yet. However, what I’ve learned and know to be true is that healthy discussions about finances are important. What are we saving towards? How much was your chiropractor appointment today? Have you seen that $10 that was laying on the counter? Regardless of the response to those questions (because there are always multiple possibilities of answers), we desire to create an environment of transparency and unity.
One of us manages the billing spreadsheet because she is an anxious, ridiculous control freak (if don’t know who, ask my husband) 🙂 I do however, always make a point to communicate the ins and outs of the spreadsheet with my hubby. I’m sure he would say he would be “just fine” with less money talk. If you’re looking for some Dave Ramsey level advice here, you won’t find it in this blog. It’s year one of marriage okay?? Give me a break! All I can tell you at this time is that money, and conversations about it, matter.
Mundane Tasks + Best Friend = <Boring
Did you follow that? Mundane tasks PLUS your Best Friend EQUAL LESS THAN Boring. I speak truth here people. Our weekly grocery shopping (which I previously hated) became a spectacle event. We coined the day “Fast Food Friday” and usually treat ourselves to dinner because we never want to cook after a long week anyway. (We are also usually out of groceries at this time so it really is a win win.) After our bellies are full, we head over to Kroger to start accomplishing the “List”. On any given day my husband is probably pushing the cart like it is a race car and trying to find every reason to put an absurd amount of cookies in places I won’t see until we check out.
Needless to say, a second set of hands while loading and unloading groceries is always a plus. But more than carrying in the cat litter and heavy items, Matt provides entertainment and makes something I used to hate doing something I look forward to. Try it with yard work, the dishes, laundry, whatever! If you feel like you have your buddy by your side, all the “adult” things of life are a little less boring.
Small Gestures Make Big Impacts
Here’s the section of the blog where I brag on my husband. This guy is 12 months in and STILL leaving me adorable love notes in random places. A “happy Friday” or “enjoy your day beautiful” note costs no money and takes minimal effort and time. These kind gestures of love mean so much to me. It is often Matt’s unspoken actions that leave me remembering why we joined in this union of marriage in the first place.
Whether you are the giver or the receiver of the small gestures, those sweet, short moments remind you to take a breath and to appreciate the person you have and the life you’re living. It’s the 6 pack I brought home to surprise him, or the time he did the dishes 4 days in a row. Those things that seemed insignificant have had a huge impact on our first year of marriage. I desire to keep this mentality and continue to do the “little things” for years to come.
Pursue Individual Passions and Support Time Apart
So what if my passion is watching TLC in a dark room by myself? My husband always knows what I mean when I say I’m going to “go watch TV”. Like as if I’m headed out on a destination and I’ll return home to him in a little bit. He understands the time to myself is important for my mental sanity and soul rejuvenation. He is always there to cheer me on and support me even when the activities or ventures don’t include him.
At times I drive to Evansville and visit my family solo, and other times I will work out by myself. Mr. Fuhrman enjoys early Saturday morning soccer matches or an afternoon of Sunday golf or poker with his buddies. Matt is into weekend getaways to ride roller coasters while I prefer to chill at the winery with my gal pal. It is crucial to our marriage that we support each others’ individualism and spend time apart. It is necessary to have a strong sense of self if you have any hopes of having a strong unit.
My partner and life buddy always makes me feel secure and not alone in this big world. But for me, it is important to remember that I was comforting myself, healing wounds, and fighting solo battles long before Matt came into the picture. I hold tightly to my independence. It is impossible to be the best wife, or partner out there if I first can’t be the best person to love myself.
Cheers to year one as we stroll into year two!! May the 1 year old frozen wedding cake still be delicious and the years to come be as fulfilling as the first!